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Frequently Asked Questions

Q.

What are the purposes of Land Use?

A.

It can protect property values by preventing nuisances by separating incompatible land uses. Prevent loss of investment due to fire.  Assures certainty of future conditions by protecting investments.   It can protect public health and safety by separating unhealthy industrial uses from residential uses.  It can establish efficient development patterns that minimize public costs associated with utilities.  It can provide adequate space for each type of land use in the county. It can help protect agricultural land by directing other types of development, residences and business away from rural areas.

Q.

What is “Spot Zoning”?

A.

Spot zoning is when a rezoning decision results in a single parcel or small island of property with a different use from the surrounding property.  Spot zoning changes the zoning to one in which has a small or inconsistent use, that benefits the landowner and cannot be supported by the comprehensive plan.

Q.

What is a “Non-conforming Use”?

A.

A non-conforming use is a use that was legal when established but does not conform to the current zoning regulations.

Q.

What is Land Use?

A.

Land Use has many terms. It can be called Zoning, Community Planning or Comprehensive Planning.  Land Use divides the county into different districts or zones.  Different land uses are allowed in each area, and the goal is to separate those that are not compatible. It controls how the land will be used.

Q.

What is the difference between Planning and Zoning and Board of Adjustment?

A.

The Planning and Zoning Commission has policy development functions.  They work on the Comprehensive Plan and review and recommend zoning ordinance changes.  They are a policy-making body.  Part of the zoning ordinance changes are map amendments such as Rezoning requests.  They also make recommendations on Preliminary and Final Subdivision Plats to the Board of Supervisors.

The Board of Adjustment has no policy development functions.  Their job is to prevent hardships from being inflicted on individual owners (Variance), ensure that development “fits” into its surroundings (Special Permitted Uses), and ensures consistent interpretation of the ordinance (Appeals of the Zoning Administrators decisions).
 

Q.

What is the history behind Land Use/Zoning Regulations?

A.

As it pertains to county zoning within Iowa, in 1955 the legislature gave zoning authority to all counties.

Jones County established Land Use in 1998 and it evolved into the Zoning Ordinance which was effective in 2007.

Map · Jones County Land Use

500 W. Main St. · Anamosa, IA 52205